West Penn Plastic Inc. has completed an expansion that doubled the size of its custom injection molding plant in New Castle, Pa., and plans to add a clean room and five new presses later this year. The Class 100,000 clean room will be sized to hold 17 presses eventually, according to Tom Mundy, sales manager. The clean room expansion is expected to cost as much as $3.5 million.
About 60 percent of West Penn's business is closures, primarily for the cosmetic, food and chemical industries. Another 15 percent is medical products and 25 percent general products.
``Business is growing, but we cannot get certain jobs without a clean room,'' Mundy said. ``We are absolutely competitive in price and quality, but lose out to molders with clean rooms.''
West Penn, established in 1968 by Michael Marino, operates 25 presses with clamping forces of 125-700 tons. They are mostly Cincinnati Milacron and HPM models. Mundy has not determined the size and make of the first five new presses and automation equipment for the clean room.
The company recently completed a 50,000-square-foot expansion that gives it 100,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space. He declined to estimate the cost of that project. The clean room will add 27,000 square feet.
West Penn employs 137.
Mundy said West Penn is poised for significant growth, particularly in its medical and closures businesses.